After a dramatic car crash, most people expect any injuries that occur to be obvious. Broken bones and spinal cord injuries will often immediately show symptoms after a collision. However, there is one serious injury that isn’t always evident right after a car crash.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause life-altering symptoms, but those symptoms aren’t always present at the scene of a crash or even later in the day after a collision. It is possible for several days to pass before a person has noticeable symptoms of a TBI.
Knowing some of the more common warning signs of a brain injury can help you monitor yourself and your loved ones after a crash.
Persistent or worsening headaches
Perhaps the most obvious of all TBI symptoms will be a headache that just won’t go away or that keeps getting worse. A TBI often results in bleeding or bruising inside the skull, which can put increasing amounts of pressure on the brain.
Over time, symptoms will get worse. If left untreated, that pain could eventually evolve into far more serious symptoms. Any unexplained headache in the days following a car crash will be a reason to consider medical evaluation.
Some people with brain injuries fall asleep and then have a hard time waking up again. Others find that it is harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. Changes in your sleep habits after a crash could affect your health and safety and should not go unreported.
Brain injuries can produce a wide range of sensory symptoms depending on what part of the brain the injury affects. Some people experience a ringing in their ears, while others have blurry vision. Changes in your sensory perception can be a major warning sign that you need medical care.
Changes in mood or personality
If someone who is usually upbeat becomes intractably grouchy in the days after a car crash, that change in their behavior and personality could be a sign of a brain injury. While it may seem subtle at first or just like a bad day, it’s important to pay attention to those changes in behavior or reactions, they could be a warning sign of a TBI.
Identifying and diagnosing a brain injury after a car crash is important. Timely care can improve someone’s prognosis. Additionally, a quick diagnosis will make it easier for someone to file an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit against the driver who hurt them. Recognizing the signs of a TBI can protect you medically and financially after a car crash.